Two ingredient chocolate face mask

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This evening I made a homemade charcoal face mask for Aub and I. Mad was already asleep, no real surprise there for anyone that knows her well. Our five year old, Bitty, however was wide awake and wanted to partake in the mask wearing. So we whipped up a mask more suitable for her. She was one proud little lady and even called her Paw-Paw on FaceTime to show him.

Two ingredient chocolate face mask

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • Raw local honey

We mixed equal parts of the cocoa and honey. About 2 tbsp of each, until blended well. 

Be sure to avoid eyes while applying. I left it on her for the 20 minutes that I wore my mask. We refrigerated the leftovers in a mason jar so that Mad can have a chocolate mask too if she’d like. Maybe next time I’ll make it with their homemade hot cocoa!


Bitty’s 5th Alice in Wonderland birthday party 

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We decided on this theme months ago. It’s a party I’ve been wanting to throw so I was thrilled when our soon to be five year old decided she wanted an “Alice in Wonderland” party. I’m thankful for all of the help from my husband, my mom, my sister, my best friend, her Guncle, and our kiddos for helping me turn our home into the Wonderland our little bit wanted! It was a magical day for our beautiful little Alice and a house full of classmates, friends, and family. 

I’ll share pictures of family & friends privately, but wanted to blog about the decor & food we prepared for Bitty’s big day! 

Back in October, before it got too cold we took Bitty to two spots to get some Alice themed pictures for her party in her Alice Halloween costume in Cibolo & Boerne Texas. Both were perfect back drops and she loved being able to finally gobble up the “eat me” cookies she took pictures with. 

After I scoured etsy, Google, & pinterest for ideas I finally decided how I wanted the invitations to look. As always my husband didn’t fail in bringing my ideas to life! 

Typically I give myself A LOT of time to fully prepare for a party I’ll be hosting. This time I decided a week would be enough time to run around like a chicken with my head cut off. Thankfully I had a lot of helping hands. I’ll attempt to blog this in order, but I have A LOT of pictures to share, so we’ll see how that goes.

The front of our home. I have a birthday flag I always put out. The flamingos were a must since the Queen of Hearts plays croquet with them. Then I found a “This way, That way, Over there” sign on Party City’s website for our front yard. 

On our front door we hung a “We’re all mad here” sign we also found on Party City’s website. 

For the inside decor we had to get pretty creative. We could only find so much store bought items, as Alice in Wonderland must not be an overly popular or average party theme. So we made a lot of it, my husband designed and printed things, I found some free printables on pinterest, and got crafty with some things I found at a local craft store. What I could order I found on Amazon & Party City’s website (wasn’t available in store).

I found this adorable shower curtain on Amazon that says “Welcome to Wonderland” to use as a backdrop for her photo booth and everyone was surprised when I told them what it actually was.

As well as these photo booth props. The kiddos loved taking pictures with them. And all of the kiddos took pictures with Alice! 

These decorations for our front window were made with a regular deck of cards, some things my husband designed on his computer, & some cut outs from Party City’s. 

I found these free printable clocks on Pinterest and hung them around the front room as well.

My husband found these free printable coloring pages on Google. The girls colored some with my mom & their Nannie Boo to hang up and we put some out for her guest to color while they mingled. 

Bitty colored these to be hung on our kitchen cabinets as well 

I came across these absolutely adorable free printable quotes on pinterest to hang around the house as well. A few of them will be framed now. 

What’s an Alice in Wonderland birthday party without a talking door knob? I found the free printable template on Pinterest  (I believe it was from Disney) and put it together. 

I found three different types of scrapbook paper I liked at Hobby Lobby and cut them into 1 1/2″ strips to make traditional paper links for the windows in our kitchen & dining room with my mom and one of our girls.

I found a six pack of these adorable little fans at Hobby Lobby to give our dining room a whimsical look.

My husband, with all of his talented computer skills, created these banners for me after I showed him some ideas I liked online. 

“Very Merry Unbirthday!”

“Bitty is 5!”

Somehow I have decided since her 1st birthday to buy a wooden number to decorate each year to put on her cake table. This year was no different. 

I found some really adorable Mad Hatter headbands on Party City’s website, but Bitty also wanted me to make her some party hats like I usually do for her every year. 

We set up this cute little area for her to open her gifts with some tea party themed cutouts that I ordered from Party City as well as the balloons I ordered from them and was able to bring into their store to have blown up.

I printed some of her pictures from her Alice photo shoot and put them in the shape of a “5” and just hung it over a large picture that hangs over our kitchen counter.

We also hung some cute streamers from all of the lights in our kitchen that I got from Party City as well and some “drink me” pictures that we printed from pinterest and hung over the cups. As well as more pictures colored by the kids and more printed pictures of Bitty on the rest of our cabinets. 

For the party favors I remembered an idea I used for her sister’s 8th luau themed party when we sent the invitations in little bottles we ordered from oriental trading. So I took to amazon and found a smaller “potion” looking bottle and ordered 48 of them. I recently made a batch of unicorn (pink/strawberry white chocolate) hot cocoa (recipe blogged earlier this month) so we filled 20 of the bottles with the cocoa and printed some free printable labels from pinterest that said “drink me” & “eat me”. For the 20 “eat me” bottles we filled them with some red, white, & pink (Valentine) m&m’s. And just tied the tags on with some bakers twine I found at Target.

I lined them up on our daughter’s chalk board painted table on top of some beautiful vintage doilies my mother in law made and used a chalk board pen to write on the table. We put some of the extra cut outs behind the table and tied balloons to the table.

With the last eight bottles I decided to use them for decoration and we put a drop of food coloring and water in them with the “drink me” tags to put on the counter for decoration. Surprisingly, no one even tried to drink them.

The day before our daughter’s party my husband took the day off of work on his own to help me with last minute preparations. He surprised our little girl with a dozen red roses when she came home from school. Which was perfect since the Queen of Hearts loves her red roses. But more importantly, was the love that shown through our five year old daughter’s little face when her daddy gave her flowers. Absolutely priceless moment. 

My dad got Bitty a mini Alice in Wonderland porcelain tea set for her birthday to match my full size set. We put my Maw-Maw’s even tinier set that would all fit on a playing card out on her cake table long enough to take pictures of her before guest arrived. She was very excited about this since she’s always loved looking at her GG’s set in my China cabinet. Now she has her very own set to put in there too.

We put my Alice tea set on the counter too! One day this set will be Bitty’s as well. For the games, we played “Pass the Mad Hatter” (like pass the hot potato) with her stuffed Mad Hatter and played the “Very Merry Unbirthday” song while they played the game. Tons of giggles! 

For her second game they played “Pin the grin on the Cheshire Cat”!

A VERY BIG thank you to her incredibly talented Guncle Ryan for creating this amazing Cheshire Cat! He really outdid himself. It was so much more than we expected, so last minute my sister ran to the store for me to get some masking tape for the “grins” so the poster wouldn’t get ruined! Now we can hang his masterpiece up for our girls upstairs! The picture really does it no justice. 

Now on to the food & drink bar!

For the drinks my husband created the drink labels. For the strawberry tea it said “This one makes you taller” and for the lemonade it said “This one makes you smaller”. 

For the cups, I ordered them from amazon. We buy them in bulk for most of our kiddos parties. Perfect size and the lids save many messes. For the straws, I also ordered them online from Party City. 

My mom, sister, & best friend made all of the tea sandwiches and pin wheels for me while I ran all over the place decorating. They really do love me!

“Alice’s pb&j tea sandwiches”

“Alice’s ham & cheese tea sandwiches”

“Alice’s turkey pin wheels” (I’ll blog this recipe soon)

“Donut” be late mini powdered donuts 

I found this really cute Alice in Wonderland ice tray at Spencer’s (also saw them on Amazon, but for twice the price) and just had to make these little candies. 

“Why is it you’re always too small or too tall” 

“White Rabbit’s favorite snack” (carrots & ranch cups)

“Queen of hearts” (kind of convenient that her party is a few weeks before Valentine’s day. Lots of cute goodies available)

“Curious & Curiouser” 

“Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum Dums” (in adorable heart shapes)

“The March Hare’s goodies” (Valentine m&m’s)

“Catterpillar treats”

“King’s chessmen”

“We’re all mad here”

“I’m not crazy. My reality is just different than yours”

“Cookie dough dip & pretzels” (dip recently blogged, also good for a cake or cupcake frosting)

Around the time we did Bitty’s photo shoot I decided I wanted to learn how to flood cookies. I wanted some “eat me” cookies, but didn’t want to pay three dollars or more for each cookie when I knew I’d want a few dozen. How hard could it be, right? I told myself I had months to practice. Only in those months were tons of holidays and countless events. What happened was me realizing it was a week before her party and being faced with three choices. Scratch the idea, order them, or just give it a try. I went with giving it a try. Wish I had practiced, but they weren’t so horrible that I couldn’t serve them. It “only” took me about three hours to bake and decorate three dozen cookies. All that mattered was how incredibly thrilled my lil bit was over them!

“Mad Hatter’s tea cookies”

Found some cute plates and napkins on Party City’s website. And then used various dishes we have to give it even more of a whimsical tea party vibe. 

I baked 3 dozen colorful butter almond cupcakes in these cute little cups and made smaller candies with a mold I found online for cupcake toppers. 

We put the cupcakes on various cake stands & platters on her cake table.

It was a ton of work in a very small amount of time, but anyone that knows me knows how much I love throwing parties for my children. It was a fun filled day and out little gal beamed all day. This was her first party that her very own school friends were able to attend. Her Paw-Paw even enjoyed her party from six hundred miles away on facetime. I’m so thankful that she had a beautiful day surrounded by so many people that love our sweet girl!


Positive conversation hearts

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I had decided I wanted to do something special for our lil monsters this month. Starting on February 1st through Valentine’s day I decided I was going to hang a heart with a special message for each of them. Sort of like the little conversation heart candies. It turned out to mean more to Bunny than I could have imagined, as I ended up having to have a major surgery that has landed me in bed for basically this entire month. Since I knew I would be stuck in bed, I decided to hang them all the night before my surgery. I gave each of our monsters their own color heart and wrote their nicknames and dates on them and mixed them all up. I hung them on three doors in our home. Each day they were able to look for their heart for the day and see what message I had left for them. Each unique for each child. Life gets so busy and it saddens me to think we as parents can so easily caught up in parenting that I never want to risk the chance of only pointing out bad behavior. In doing this they had fourteen days in a row of positive notes full of love and some of the things about them and things they do that make us proud to be their parents. Granted it would take me a lot more than fourteen days to tell them everything about them that makes me proud to be their mama. But this is a nifty start as well as a cute Valentine’s decoration for our home to celebrate the month of love!

Some of their messages….

“You are my sunshine!”
“You are my favorite blue eyed girl!”
“I love your big brown eyes!”
“You have a big heart”
“You are always helpful”
“You are my favorite 2 year old”
“You are my favorite 4 year old”
“You are my favorite 8 year old”
“You are my favorite son” (he’s our only son)
“I love watching you skateboard!”
“I love watching you dance!”
“You are loved!”
“You are beautiful”
“You are handsome”
“I am proud to be your mama!”

And for the first night that I knew I would be in the hospital…

“I miss you!”

We all enjoyed it so much that I think this will likely become a new tradition for our little family. I adore our little monsters and love finding new ways to express it to them!20140214-154206.jpg


Wizard of Oz birthday party

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Finally getting to follow up with the details from my blog on Sunday about the decorations for Bitty’s party!

This weekend was our daughter’s 2nd birthday. I had so much fun planning this party, especially since she simply loves everything wizard of oz!20140120-225327.jpg“Follow the yellow brick road”20140120-225420.jpgToto in the hot air balloon (ignore our incredibly dry Texas grass)20140120-225459.jpgof course all of our guest still rang the bell…20140120-225555.jpgI was thrilled to stumble upon this cute little take on of “A Chrismas Story” wicked witch lamp at a local store.20140120-225832.jpg“Lions, Tigers, & Bears…oh my!” Animal cracker goodie bags20140120-225936.jpgThe gift table/party hats & wizard of oz rings for all of the little munchkins20140120-230129.jpgBitty’s antique high chair that has been used by all four of my children, myself, all of my cousins, my uncle, my aunt, & my mom20140120-230412.jpg“Auntie Em’s cupcakes in a jar20140120-230659.jpgmore of her table…20140120-230736.jpgher special cupcake…20140120-230812.jpga little bit more of the dining room…20140120-230908.jpga collage of her 2nd year with all of the folks that adore this sweet baby girl20140120-231018.jpgscare crow, tin man, & lion20140120-231216.jpg“lions, tigers, & bears…oh my!”20140120-231321.jpg“Bitty is 2!” banner, along with more of her special wizard of oz goodies20140120-231412.jpglast picture of the dining room…20140120-231529.jpgkitchen & living area20140120-231631.jpgdrink area…20140120-231723.jpg“wicked witch’s brew”20140120-231815.jpg“Glinda’s raspberry lemonade”20140120-231925.jpgthe candy station…20140120-232008.jpgmy favorite scare crow quote…20140120-232049.jpgTin Man hearts20140120-232207.jpgTin Man hats20140120-232312.jpg“we represent the lollipop guild”20140120-232357.jpg the munchkins loved this this candy bar20140120-232430.jpgDorthy’s sugar cookies20140120-232628.jpgAfter seeing the peppermint trays I made for Christmas, my husband came up with the brilliant idea of making a yellow brick road tray with butter scotch & cinnamon hard candies (no really, I love this fella of mine!)20140120-232714.jpgthe bar full of goodies & decorations…20140120-233733.jpg20140120-233742.jpg20140120-233802.jpg20140120-233811.jpg20140120-233822.jpg20140120-233837.jpg20140120-233845.jpg20140120-233859.jpg20140120-233908.jpg20140120-233916.jpg20140120-233929.jpg20140120-233952.jpg“Happy Birthday” banner20140120-234348.jpgBitty’s big sister (4 years old) even wrote on the slate for her20140120-234503.jpgand possibly the very picture that gave me the idea to choose this theme, a picture my husband’s aunt gave us years ago20140120-234623.jpgI wanted to have the movie playing in the background during the party. Turns out our family and friends of all ages were glued to it! Some had never seen it and others hadn’t seen it in years.20140120-234808.jpgof course her party wouldn’t have been complete without her Dorthy dress & ruby slippers20140121-185442.jpg“Lions, Tigers, & Bears…oh my!” Banner20140124-211729.jpg“Bitty is 2!” Banner20140124-211815.jpgBitty’s party invitations20140124-211910.jpgHappy birthday to our precious baby girl!20140124-212053.jpg


We represent the lollipop guild

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Such a cute way to put lollipops out for Bitty’s Wizard Of Oz party. Will be completed with some swirl lollipops and a “we represent the lollipop guild” sign. And the best part was how easy peasy it was to make it!

Small flower pot
6″ foam ball
Dum Dums (I used 3 large bags)

Just place the foam ball in the flower pot and start sticking the dum dums in the top and work your way all the way around placing each one close together until you fill it completely.20140115-111150.jpg


Homemade pumpkin spice play dough

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My three little ladies along with their friend and I made some homemade play dough yesterday. All four of them ranging in age from 21 months old up to 10 years old enjoyed helping too. It was so easy and within 15 minutes they were happily playing with it and very proud of themselves! And it smells just like pumpkin pie!

1 1/2 to 2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup salt
1 tbsp cream of tarter
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup boiling water
1 tbsp olive oil
Food coloring (or kool-aid packet)
Add dry ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl, start with 1 1/2 cups flour20131030-162137.jpg
The girls enjoyed taking turns adding the ingredients in the bowl20131030-162306.jpgit’s also helpful to put the pumpkin spice in the bowl, ha ha20131030-162531.jpg
Add boiling water, olive oil, and food color, we used about 15 drops of gel food color this time. Then start mixing. 20131030-162937.jpg And when you think you are done, mix some more. Until it becomes dough like. 20131030-163133.jpgIf it’s too gooey you can add small amounts of flour at a time. Then kneed it a bit and viola! Homemade play dough! We’ll be playing with the recipe to change it up a bit after the fall. It will last a few weeks in a sealed container or ziplock bag. If it starts to dry out just add 1 tbsp of olive oil and kneed it some more. It makes about the amount of 4 traditional size containers of play dough. 20131030-164155.jpg


Halloween Craftiness…

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20131010-162435.jpgI simply love Halloween! Seeing my monsters dress up in their costumes of choice. Door to door trick or treating while reminding them to remember their thank you’s as their bags are filled with goodies. Creating spooky & fun decorations that we will be able to use year after year in our new family home. The crisp fall air. It’s just a magical time of year if you ask me.

This year we have been getting craftier than ever. The ideas just keep coming! And I love being able to share the fun with our monsters & friends.

This was our most recent craft before I had to have yet another surgery. Fingers crossed I can heal quickly and have plenty of time to make many more spooktacular crafts before our first annual Halloween party!

I love that we were able to upcycle with scrap pieces of 2 x 4’s from my ever creative friend, Ryan. So this project cost next to nothing to make and took very little time. These little spooky creatures & quotes will be spread throughout our home. 20131010-162642.jpgWe just used some acrylic paint, googley eyes, ribbon, sharpies, my handy electric sander, & small square pieces of wood & bobbins that we found at our local craft store.20131010-162930.jpg-Frankenstein & his lovely bride-20131010-163238.jpg-Precious little girl & boy pumpkins-20131010-163343.jpg-I’m slightly obsessed with sugar skulls & polka dots-20131010-163546.jpg-Eek & mummies galore-20131010-163703.jpg-Halloween isn’t Halloween without a witch & a little hocus pocus!-

I have a few more ideas up my sleeve to create with these pieces of wood. And have already been thinking about upcoming holidays as well! Please keep those scraps coming Ryan!20131010-163950.jpg


Ghosts & Skeletons

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Made some cute little ghost & skeletons out of things we had around the house.
20131007-000854.jpgFirst I soaked off the labels in some hot soapy water.20131007-001337.jpgYou can really use any size or shape jar you’d like. Then painted them with an heirloom white spray paint. 20131007-001611.jpgWhen they were dry about an hour later I drew the faces on with a black sharpie and put a little fake tea light candle in each one. 20131007-001758.jpgI put these in my front yard. But they would be cute to light a walk way. To use as a night light in a bedroom or bathroom. I can’t wait to make some snowmen like this for Christmas too!20131007-002300.jpg


Homemade laundry detergent

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This is the only detergent I will ever use anymore. I’ve used it for nearly two years now and it works just as well if not better than the top name brands. Only you only use one to two tablespoons verses the huge scoop full of fillers. One batch of this cost under $20 and last our large family of seven for about eight months. It’s pretty versatile too, you can use any brand soap you prefer. The scented downy tabs are optional, I just love the fresh scent. I use one tablespoon for an small or average load and two tablespoons for a heavy or really dirty load. It works fantastic with our HE machine too. Just mix all the ingredients in an air tight container and it’s really that simple.

Baking soda (4 pound box)
Super washing soda
Oxy clean
2 bars fels-naptha
Downy unstopables (optional)


I cut up the fels-naptha into cubes and toss them in a food processor instead of using a cheese grater.

I also like to add 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to each load for a natural fabric softener.

All ingredients can be found on the laundry detergent isle or even on amazon.20140112-224334.jpg


Homemade household cleaners

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Today I tossed all the toxic chemicals I have been cleaning with for years and made my own! I am done cleaning with poisons that I pay so much for and having to worry about my children or pet getting in them! These are the recipes I made this morning. For the essential oils, I bought them at whole foods and used these different scents: lemon, orange, lime, and mint (I love the combinations of lemon/mint, orange/mint, and lemon/lime) Oh my gosh I love the way our home smells!

Tile Floor Cleaner:
1 gal. Water
1/4 c. Blue dawn soap
1/8 c. White distilled vinegar
25 drops of Essential oils (optional)
**store in a one gal jug.

Glass Cleaner:
1 c. White vinegar
1 c. Water
8 drops essential oil
**combine all ingredients in a plastic spray bottle. Shake well before each use. Use like windex on glass or mirrors.

Bathtub & Shower Cleaning Gel:
1 c. White vinegar (hot)
1 c. Blue dawn dish soap
Essential oils (optional)
**place both in a squirt bottle, shampoo bottle works well, and shake to create a gel. Add essential oils and shake again. Squirt the solution all over your tub, allow to sit for a few minutes. Okay to leave sitting over night. Wipe off with a sponge or rag and rinse.

Toilet Cleaner (for the outside of the toilet):
1 tsp. borax
1 tsp. washing soda
1/2 c. White vinegar
2 c. Hot water
25 drops of essential oils (optional)
32 oz. spray bottle
**measure & mix borax, washing soda, & white vinegar in a large glass bowl. Heat the water & add slowly while stirring. Once the mixture has cooled, add your essential oils. Add the mixture to a clean plastic spray bottle.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner:
1 tbsp baking soda
1/2 cup vinegar
**sprinkle baking soda and scrub around, then add vinegar (will foam)
Can let sit over night or flush

All Purpose Spray Cleaner:
1 gal. Hot water
1 tbsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. blue dawn soap
Essential oils (optional)
(One batch filled two 32oz. Spray bottles and a juice container)

Shower spray:
4 tbsp. baking soda
4 c. Warm water
Essential oils (optional)
**dissolve baking soda in water & place in spray bottle with essential oils. Spray on surface to be cleaned and wipe with a damp cloth.

Dishwasher Detergent:
1 c. Borax
1 c. Arm & hammer washing soda
2 pkts sugar free lemonade koolaid
**mix together well in an air tight container. Add one tbsp to each load of dishes. One batch cleans 32 loads of dishes, I made a triple batch for 96 loads!

Rinse aid (jet dry):
White vinegar! Just pour a 1/2 cup of vinegar in place of jet dry for less than 10 cents instead of the $4 bottle of jet dry!

1/8 c. Of your fave fabric softener
2 tbsp. baking soda
Hot water (fill the remainder of the 32 oz. bottle)
**shake well. Let me tell you how shocked I was at how much money I had been spending on febreeze and the tiny amount of fabric softener it took to make a spray bottle of it!

Also have a homemade detergent recipe in another blog post.